Intense competition, a life on the road and grueling practice might take some of the fun out of enjoying a sport from an amateur standpoint. Although amateur and professional athletes have a few things in common, such as some shared skills and passion for their sport, the primary differences lies in the fact that for professionals, performance within a sport can make or break their careers. Getting paid is the litmus test of professional versus amateur athletes. Not all pro athletes are millionaires, however.
An ode to the amateur athlete
Psyche of an amateur athlete: Why do they compete? - ActiveSG
Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon , and played American football collegiate and professional , professional baseball, and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he had been paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules that were then in place. After his Olympic success in , which included a record score in the decathlon, he added a victory in the All-Around Championship of the Amateur Athletic Union. Thorpe joined the Canton Bulldogs American football team in , helping them win three professional championships; he later played for six teams in the National Football League NFL. He played as part of several all-American Indian teams throughout his career, and barnstormed as a professional basketball player with a team composed entirely of American Indians. He struggled to earn a living after that, working several odd jobs. He suffered from alcoholism , and lived his last years in failing health and poverty.
Amateur vs. Professional Athletes
For the likes of Shiva Keshavan, chasing their dreams relies heavily on generosity, sponsorships and benevolent employers. A few months ago, Keshavan, who has been to five Winter Olympics to compete in luge, decided to crowdsource funds for a trip to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Games. In early April, the film Eddie the Eagle released in the UK and the US its release in India is uncertain , bringing back to focus the gallant amateur striving for success on borrowed money and a diet of passion. The difference here, of course, is that while Eddie did it once, Keshavan has been chasing money for training since the first time he qualified for the Olympics in Money distinguishes the amateur from the professional—the latter earns it through sport, the former chases it for sport.
Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sporting participants, who are paid for the time they spend competing and training. In the majority of sports which feature professional players, the professionals will participate at a higher standard of play than amateur competitors, as they can train full-time without the stress of having another job.